Men: As a man, have you ever paused and, in a moment of quiet self-reflection, told yourself, “Do you know; I reckon you’re just about perfect”? I know I have and this is especially true of my innate driving ability which I have always assumed was second to none.
On these very electric internet pages I have raged and grumbled about the general standard of UK driving and yet, on the very day that I planned to write something else but ended up writing this, I experienced a driving error of such staggering ineptitude as to fair take the breath away. The problem is, I did it.
I won’t labour the details; suffice to say that I obviously misread the situation. It happened at a very slow speed (in the fabulous Jaguar pictured, to make it worse) and there was no danger of collision or to anything other than my pride. After a moment or two of sitting there with my face in my hands I offered a shamefaced wave to the other glaring faces and got the hell out of Dodge. Nobody, it seems after all, is perfect.
This is especially true of the young woman driving a Blue Renault Clio on a ’57 plate along an urban dual carriageway the same morning. I don’t know what she was doing but she drifted across into my lane as I was approaching to pass. She did it to make a pass on the slower car in front of her at the next traffic lights.
She then went back to the inside lane (her car was clearly not fitted with indicators) and continued to lane-weave for the next mile or so. She appeared absolutely oblivious of everything and everyone around her. She didn’t give a damn and she won my ‘crap driver’ of the day award by a country mile (I came second).
The point is this: We all make mistakes but there is a difference between a genuine error and stunningly bad driving. No doubt the drivers I briefly inconvenienced have one opinion and it probably differs to mine a bit.
As it’s Sunday then, today’s lesson from the pulpit of propulsion says that from time to time we all need a driving wake up call. Making allowances for new drivers, all experienced drivers, I believe, can and do easily become complacent. We believe we can do no wrong and that it is always the other bloke. That’s not the case. I’ve let the side down and, at some point along the road, so have you. Oh yes you have.
Guard against complacency by thinking about driving standards when at the wheel. Our roads and highways are getting busier and are packed with criminal drivers who are stupid at best and uninsured or banned at worse and they don’t a flying fig about you or your family. Everyone can make a driving mistake but let’s not make a habit of it, eh? Geoff Maxted